Today we have an interesting yellow shirt from the 1982 BMWMOA rally. The BMWMOA is of course the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. It features among other things the drop-shadowed outline of the state of Ohio, filled with the blue and white checker from the center of the BMW logo, which of course recalls the blue and white of the flag of BMW’s native Bavaria. Ohio is pictured of course because it was host of the rally. On top of the shape of Ohio is first a horse-drawn carriage, with its wheels replaced by the center of the BMW logo yet again. I have no idea why that image is there. Next is a cardinal, which I can only assume is because it is the state bird of Ohio. What that has to do with motorcycles, I have no idea. Finally there is the image of a guy riding a BMW motorcycle, which makes perfect sense.
Above the images it says “PLAIN & FANCY” with “plain” being rendered in a relatively plain typeface, and “fancy” in a relatively fancy one. The ampersand I would judge as being also relatively fancy, although in a different style than the word “fancy”. Perhaps it was thought of as a compromise between the two typefaces as being a little fancy but not too much. Anyway, I have absolutely no idea why it says this at the top or what in the world it has to do with a motorcycle convention.
Below the images in an arc it then says “-10th Annual BMWMOA Rally – 1982-“ which is about the most sensible thing on the shirt as it at least tells you what the hell is going on. I like to think of this shirt as starting with nonsense at the top and becoming increasingly sensible as your eyes move down it.
I don’t usually do this, but I am going to offer unsolicited design advice to the good folks at the BMWMOA if they perchance to hold another rally in the state of Ohio. Scrap the state outline and bird stuff. You take the Ohio state flag, which already by itself makes your shirt awesome by virtue of the fact that it is one of the weirdest flags in the nation (in a good way). Then you notice that said flag incorporates in it a circle as the focal point. Then you place the BMW logo—the whole logo, not just the center part of it—on top of the flag in place of the circle. Bam. Shirt design done. On the back, you put “BMWMOA 20XX” (with the XX standing for the year of the rally, natch). Of course that won’t work on a yellow background, so pick something complimentary, like maybe a blue ringer. Just sayin’.
As for the backstory, I know that at least one of my wife’s uncles’ has owned a BMW bike, and she’ll probably comment and correct me on all this, but the one I know of was not the same one that I got the shirt from. It does seem generally that her father’s family, all boys save for her grandmother, had an affinity for BMW bikes. Which I found a little unusual what with them coming from the home of Harley-Davidson and all that, but I’m sure there’s an explanation why, I just don’t know it.